Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Issue addressed: The aim of this project was to identify effective recruitment and retention strategies used by health-promotion organisations that focus on increasing physical activity and improving nutrition within the local community. Methods: Semistructured telephone or face-to-face interviews with 25 key informants from stakeholder organisations were conducted. Key informants discussed strategies used by their organisation to effectively recruit and retain participants into community-based healthy eating and/or physical activity programs. Transcribed data were analysed with NVivo software. Results: Effective recruitment strategies included word of mouth, links with organisations, dissemination of printed materials, media, referrals, cross-promotion of programs and face-to-face methods. Effective retention strategies included encouraging a sense of community ownership, social opportunities, recruiting a suitable leader and offering flexibility and support. Fees and support for recruiting and retaining participants was also identified. Conclusion: This study provides novel insights to a greatly under researched topic in the field of health promotion. There are two key take-home messages from the present study that are applicable to health practitioners as well as developers and deliverers of community health-promotion programs: ( 1 ) it is imperative that all community health organisations report on the effectiveness of their recruitment and retention, both successes and failures; and ( 2 ) there is a clear need to tailor the recruitment and retention approach to the target population and the setting the program is occurring in.

School/Institute

Institute for Health and Ageing

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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